Hornton 'Hoard' to return to Banbury Museum

The Hornton ‘Hoard’ – a collection of Anglo-Saxon jewellery – is coming to Banbury Museum in November.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 2:01 pm
Two of the brooches from the Hornton Hoard

The ‘hoard’ which was discovered in the 19th century on Glebe land west of the church, is believed to have been owned by a woman from the sixth century.

It was discovered in an Anglo-Saxon grave by the vicar of Hornton Parish Church, Rev Charles Heaven, while a house was being built. Up until now, the hoard has been in a drawer, unseen, at the British Museum.

On November 16, Banbury Museum is holding a special evening offering a first look at the brooches and beads as well as holding a talk about Oxfordshire’s Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

Brooch from the Hornton Hoard

The collection will be unveiled formally by John Blair, professor of medieval history and archaeology at Queen’s College, Oxford, who will also be giving the talk, called The Early Anglo-Saxons in Oxfordshire: New Evidence and New Ideas.

Simon Townsend, director of Banbury Museum said: “We were delighted to work with our friends in the Hornton History Group, to return this beautiful Anglo-Saxon jewellery to north Oxfordshire, where it was once worn by one of our ancestors.

“These treasures illustrate our rich local history, and now they will be available for all to see.”

The collection includes a large gilded bronze brooch, two identically decorated round brooches, and crystal and glass beads.

The brooches would have been pinned to a cloak and tunic.

The British Museum has dated the jewellery to the sixth century, between 500 and 550AD.

The discovery of the artefacts was due to the diligence of the late Barbara Greenhalgh of Hornton, who conducted extensive research into the hoard.

The collection was sold to a French dealer by Rev Heaven, who later sold it to the British Museum.

The pieces are expected to remain in Banbury Museum on long-term loan.

Tickets are now on sale and are available from the Banbury Museum website, https://bit.ly/2o7m3el.